Civil aviation ministry asks DGCA to examine airfare hike

Civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi has asked the aviation regulator DGCA to look into the recent airfare hike and examine if it could take some steps to provide any relief to air travellers

New Delhi: With high festive season demand pushing up airfares, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been asked by the civil aviation ministry to examine if it could take some steps to provide any relief to air travellers, reports PTI.

"I have asked the DGCA to use its powers and look into the matter, although beyond a point, we cannot do anything," civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi said replying to a question on hiking air fares by airlines ahead of the festival season.

Noting that there is a 'flexible mechanism' that governs air fares, he said the regulator would examine the issue as it affected the travelling public.

The fares of almost all major airlines have risen by an average of 10% due to the festive season, though sources in the airline industry maintain that due to high passenger traffic, the low-fare buckets were getting filled up fast leaving only high fare options.

The fare monitoring committee of the DGCA, set up a year ago, was already analysing the fare data on a daily basis, the sources said.

Asked to comment on planned shut down of low-cost carrier Kingfisher Red, Mr Ravi refused to give a direct reply but said soaring prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) was a matter of concern for entire aviation industry.

Expressing concern over rising jet fuel prices, Mr Ravi said he would soon write to state governments to reduce sales tax on ATF, though he had made similar requests earlier too.

"ATF price is a major challenge facing the aviation industry. ATF is going up because of increase in crude prices.

"In India, sales tax on ATF is affecting the industry. I have already written to state governments to reduce the sales tax on it. I will write to them again," Mr Ravi said.

Asked as to when the next meeting of the Group of Ministers on Air India will be convened, he said it will take place soon.

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Suzlon shareholders okay proposal to raise Rs5,000 crore

Suzlon, board of directors, had approved the issuance of equity shares or FCCBs, GDRs, IDRs, or a combination of instruments, to the extent of Rs5,000 crore. The shareholders have approved the same at the AGM

Wind power major Suzlon Energy said its shareholders had approved the proposal to raise funds worth Rs5,000 crore. In a regulatory filing, Suzlon said shareholders have approved the "enabling resolution to issue securities to an extent of Rs5,000 crore to facilitate raising of funds from time to time". This proposal, along with various appointments, was approved by shareholders at the company's annual general meeting held on 27 September 2011. Among others, the appointment of Tulsi Tanti as the company's Managing Director was ratified and approved by the shareholders.

On 1 August 2011, Suzlon had said that its board approved a proposal for raising Rs5,000 crore through the issuance of shares or other securities. "The board of directors has approved the issuance of equity shares or FCCBs, GDRs, IDRs, or a combination of instruments, to an extent of Rs5,000 crore," the firm had said.

In the late afternoon, Suzlon was trading at around Rs37.75 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 2.17% up from the previous close.

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Pipavav ties up with Airbus

The Pipavav-Airbus joint venture will be to develop maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities and associated infrastructure. It is likely to cost $100 million in the first phase. It will be used for civilian and military applications

Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company (formerly Pipavav Shipyard) has announced its foray into the aviation sector by signing a pact with Airbus to set up an aircraft maintenance facility in the country, through a joint venture. As per the MoU, European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co, (EADS), the makers of Airbus, will pick up 26% equity in the project and have the option to increase it to 49%, Pipavav said in a regulatory filing. The filing added that 51% stake in the proposed JV will be held by Pipavav, while its promoters SKIL Infra will also hold some stake.

The Joint Venture will be to develop maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and associated infrastructure. It is likely to cost $100 million in the first phase. It will be used for civilian and military applications, the filing stated. "This will be a one of its kind joint venture being set up in India with equity participation from EADS, France (Airbus) which is the global leader in defence and aerospace."

In the late afternoon, Pipavav was trading at around Rs80.20 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.38% up from the previous close.

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